Best Canon Camera for Portraits

Best Canon Camera for Portraits

Is Canon the best camera for portrait photography? What's the best camera for beginner photographers? Check out my list of 10 best Canon cameras for portraits if you are a wedding or lifestyle photographer. How to choose a good camera body and what lens to buy – all answers are below.

Why Do Canon Professional Cameras Have So Many Fans Today?

The 1st reason is their perfect color rendering. Of course, if you use professional photo editing softwares as Lightroom or Capture One to make color correction of your portraits, you will get excellent colors by shooting with any camera. I think that only Fujifilm can compete with Canon in this aspect.

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The 2nd reason is its popularity. Today, Canon full frame cameras are the best-selling equipment for modern photographers. This means that if you want to choose a new lens or flash, many of your friends, who are interested in photography, will already have accessories or the Canon camera that you want. You will be able to know their opinion or even test the device.

The 3rd reason is a wide variety of models. If Sony and Fujifilm almost don’t have DSLRs, Olympus and Panasonic have only micro 4/3 matrices, then Canon produces all types of cameras. They are able to meet the demand of many photographers by selling devices of many formats: point and shoot, mirrorless, DSLR, with different designs, matrices and prices.

The 4th reason is a wide range of optics. Every experienced photographer knows that a nice lens is much more important than a good camera. Canon has succeeded in this. The legendary L is a series of lenses that have huge popularity in spite of the high price, because they give an amazing picture. At the same time, you can successfully use even budget lenses for no more than $150 with professional Canon full frame camera.

Best Canon Cameras for Portraits


1. Canon EOS R

canon eos r

 
 

Price: about $2300

 
Pros+
  • Face recognition and eye focus
  • Small dimensions
  • The touch screen allows control of the focus point
Cons-
  • High price
  • Today only a few lenses can be used with this camera without an adapter
 

 

I think this mirrorless full-frame model is the best camera for portrait photography produced by Canon. It should be mentioned that it is the first and the only camera body with the “R” lens mount. It’s a perfect choice for those, who aims to shoot emotional portraits and capture all small face blemishes. As you may know, portraits usually look interesting with a shallow depth of field. At the same time, the eyes must be in focus. This is a challenging task for many SLR cameras, but Canon EOS-R will help you take incredible pictures. Thisportrait camera is able to recognize face and focus on the eyes automatically.

Recommended camera lens:

Canon RF 28-70mm f/2L USM

canon 28-70mm for portraits

 
 

An RF 28-70mm f/2L USM lens provides the image quality standard you would expect from a lens with a fixed focal length. Its maximum f/2 aperture opens great creative possibilities for shooting unusual portraits.

28-70mm portrait

 Photo by Canon EOS R


2. Canon EOS 5DS R

canon eos 5dsr

 
 

Price: about $3700

 
Pros+
  • Excellent detailization
  • High resolution
  • Can be used with all accessories from Canon 5D Mark III
Cons-
  • High price
  • The camera reveals its capabilities only with expensive lenses
  • Weak auto ISO performance
 

 

This is one of the best Canon cameras for portraits created for the fashionportrait photography. The camera body can produce really detailed shots, which is of vital importance for advertising and magazines. The combination of magnificent 50MP and a high-quality macro lens creates the perfect result with maximum detailization. 5DSR does not have a low-pass filter, which affects the appearance of the moiré. The dynamic range of the camera is much better than the 5D Mark III body, its main competitor has.

Recommended camera lens:

Canon EF 100mm f/2.8L Macro IS USM

canon 100mm for portraits

 
 

Macro lenses are frequently used in beauty portraits photoshoot. They are designed to give a photographer an opportunity to get the maximum micro contrast. As a result, all pores and small areas of skin are perfectly visible and easy to edit.

canon 100mm portrait

 Photo by Canon EOS 5DS R


3. Canon EOS 5D Mark IV

canon eos 5d mark iv

 
 

Price: about $2900

 
Pros+
  • Fast and accurate focusing at all modes
  • Excellent for high ISO
  • Wide dynamic range
  • Built-in Wi-Fi/NFC modules
  • Higher burst speed than in alternative devices
Cons-
  • Expensive
  • CFast/SD UHS-II cards are not supported
  • Oversimplified video mode
 

 

I want to present you the best model of a Canon full frame cameras list. This is a new camera with a sensor that reproduces a much wider dynamic range than the previous model. This detail plays a crucial role in some cases. For example, it is very important for shooting at night. Moreover, the noise level is decreased and the noise structure became less annoying. Skin stays natural without much noise that saves time you spend on photo retouching. Some photographs look satisfactory even at ISO 12,800.

Recommended camera lens:

Canon EF 135mm f/2L USM

canon 135mm for portraits

 
 

The lens, released in 1996, is still very popular among modern portrait photographers. Bokehis magical and sharpness is good. Moreover, the lens is devoid of chromatic aberrations.

canon 135mm portrait sample

 Photo by Canon EOS 5D Mark IV


4. Canon EOS 6D Mark II

canon eos 6d mark ii

 
 

Price: about $1400

 
Pros+
  • The most affordable price among full-frame cameras
  • Wide dynamic range
  • Swivel display
  • 45 AF cross points in the viewfinder
Cons-
  • Autofocus points are localized close to the center of the viewfinder
  • Photos with high ISO are worse than in aforementioned Canon cameras
 

 

I can say that this device is the best professional camera for beginners, because it isn’t considered as a piece of equipment for experienced photographers who can waste about $5000 for a camera body. However, many professionals use it in their work as well. Its main updates are a new sensor with a higher resolution and a movable touchscreen display. The camera allows you to take high-quality portraits that look quite professional even being printed.

Recommended camera lens:

Sigma 85mm f/1.4 DG HSM Art Lens for Canon EF

sigma 85mm for portraits

 
 

I want to draw your attention to the portrait lens from a third-party manufacturer for Canon. This is a great lens that is well worth its money. It helps take sharp colorful photos with beautiful bokeh.

sigma 85mm portrait sample

 Photo by Canon EOS 6D Mark II


5. Canon EOS 7D Mark II

canon eos 7d mark ii

 
 

Price: about $1000

 
Pros+
  • Convenient button customization
  • Burst speed up to 10 frames/s
  • High image quality up to ISO 3200
  • Works with 2 memory cards of different types
Cons-
  • The screen does not support touch control
  • The screen is not swivel
  • No 4k video (but who needs it if you take portraits)
 

 

Canon EOS 7D Mark II is the best camera for professional photography, because it is the most advanced APS-C model at the moment. Pay your attention to the excellent autofocus, which works perfectly during live view through the viewfinder, as well as while using the display. Thisbest autofocus camera has the highest burst speed and large buffer that is a big plus for event photographers. High working ISO and 20 MP matrix resolution allow you to use this camera body almost everywhere: from studio photography to dynamic broadcast. Canon EOS 7D Mark II easily works in all conditions, without requiring any technical tricks or special shooting techniques.

Recommended camera lens:

Canon EF 85mm f/1.2L II USM

canon 85mm for portraits

 
 

A great portrait lens is needed when the viewing angle at 135mm is too narrow. It is heavy, less sharp, and slower compared to the EF 135mm lens. But it’s more expensive. On the other hand, the diaphragm opens to f/1.2 and draws a soft picture, blurring the background beautifully.

canon 85mm portrait sample

Photo by Canon EOS 7D Mark II


6. Canon EOS Rebel T7i

canon eos rebel t7i

 
 

Price: about $700

 
Pros+
  • Small size and weight
  • High image quality at ISO up to 3200
  • Touchscreen display with swivel design
  • High-speed continuous shooting (6 frames/sec)
  • 45 autofocus points when live viewing through the viewfinder
Cons-
  • Fewer midtones than the cameras described above
  • Not the largest image coverage in the viewfinder (95%)
  • Lack of dust and moisture protection
  • The inability to directly select the AF point in the viewfinder
  • Slow USB 2.0 interface for transferring photos to a computer
  • No manual white balance setting in Kelvins
 

 

It is possibly the best camera for photography beginners, who want to start their path in a portrait shooting. This camera has a smaller physical matrix size than the cameras reviewed above. Therefore, you may notice a further reduction in the number of midtones. In portrait photography this is not very crucial. You may know that the width of the mid-tone range is a very secondary indicator in contrasting frames. Besides, it has an excellent camera autofocus. In addition, the new version of the graphical interface will be quite useful for amateur photographers.

Recommended camera lens:

Canon EF 85mm f/1.8 USM

canon 85mm f/1.8 for portraits

 
 

This is the lens for enthusiasts. The sharpness of the picture is between 85mm f/1.2L and 85mm f/1.4L. Talking about the drawbacks, chromatic aberrations may appear. Nevertheless, the lens is quite attention-worthy and I recommend it to use together with the Canon EOS Rebel T7i camera.

canon 85mm portrait sample

 Photo by Canon EOS Rebel T7i


7. Canon 80D

canon 80d

 
 

Price: about $1000

 
Pros+
  • Fine ergonomics
  • A convenient swivel touch display
  • A large amount of buffer in JPEG
  • High-quality images up to ISO 3200
  • Shadows and lights draw well from RAW
  • New 45-point autofocus module
Cons-
  • The RAW buffer size is limited to 25 frames
  • No support for UHS-II memory cards
  • No built-in GPS
  • No autofocus settings
 

 

The results of the shooting won’t disappoint you. The new image sensor allows you to work with high ISO up to 6400 and provides nice opportunities for drawing shadows and highlights from the RAW file. The autofocus system was improved: 45 points in the viewfinder, Dual Pixel CMOS AF technology in Live View and during video shooting. The speed of the continuous shooting and the volume of the buffer are appropriate for this camera class. The photographer is able to take more than two dozen images at a speed of 7 frames per second while the RAW shooting. Talking about JPEG, the number is over a hundred frames.

Recommended camera lens:

Sigma 35mm F1.4 ART DG HSM

sigma 35mm for portraits

 
 

Lenses with a focal length of 35 mm are becoming increasingly popular nowadays. The moderate wide angle makes them more suitable for indoor shooting, street photography, architecture, landscapes, and studio shooting. It’s a nice camera lens for a photographer who needs a 35 mm aperture lens that really works. The Sigma AF 35mm f/1.4 DG HSM Art is probably the best choice because of 1.4 aperture, a beautiful design, and an affordable price.

sigma 35mm portrait sample

 Photo by Canon 80D


8. Canon EOS 1Dx

canon eos 1dx

 
 

Price: about $4000

 
Pros+
  • Amazing for taking photos in poor lighting conditions
  • Gives a possibility for taking fantastic shots at high speed
  • Almost the best autofocus
  • Looks sturdy and durable
  • Perfect for event photographers
  • Can be used for many purposes
Cons-
  • During the change of AF drive mode, it isn’t shown through the viewfinder
  • Heavy weight
  • Unlike on the EOS-5D Mark III, the star rating isn’t so intuitive
 

 

This good portrait camera is designed for producing high-quality results in all lighting conditions. It is usually used by photographers for street and event shooting. Its broadcast abilities allow you to capture shots quickly. Studio photographers can be interested in the possibility to connect it to the network by the wire. The camera not only transmits images and video files through but can be also controlled remotely and send pictures via LiveView.

Recommended camera lens:

Canon EF 35mm f/1.4L II USM

canon 35mm for portraits

 
 

Canon EF 35mm f/1.4L II USM belongs to the line of professional optics. This lens is indispensable for highly artistic tasks, when the background blur pattern becomes an important part of the photographer's intention.

canon 35mm portrait sample

 Photo by Canon EOS 1Dx


9. Canon PowerShot G7 X Mark II

canon powershot g7 x mark ii

 
 

Price: about $600

 
Pros+
  • Small dimensions and weight
  • Excellent high-aperture lens
  • Good zoom ratio
  • Built-in optical image stabilizer
  • High speed: up to 8 frames per second
Cons-
  • Low duration of work from a single charge
 

 

The PowerShot G7 X Mark II isn’t one of the best cameras for portraitsbut the cheap camera produced by Canon. It has a universal high-aperture lens and a new image processor. PowerShot G7 X is also provided with an optical image stabilizer. It is very useful for shooting with bad lighting. Increasing the sensitivity to ISO 1250 also does not become a problem for the camera. All these nice functions and features are placed in a small and lightweight case.

powershot g7 x mark iiportrait sample

 Photo by Canon EOS 1Dx

Read other cameras’ reviews to find the best camera for amateur photographer if you’re planning to tale professional images.
 

10. Canon PowerShot SX420

canon powershot sx420

 
 

Price: about $260

 
Pros+
  • For beginning portrait photographers
  • Works fine in automatic mode
  • 42x zoom lens
  • Wi-Fi and NFC for quick uploading of pictures to a computer
  • Compact and convenient case
Cons-
  • Flash is required for taking photos in poor lighting conditions
  • No manual settings
  • Low speed (1 frame per second)
 

 

This really the best cheap camera for portraits. It has nothing extra, only the most necessary features. It can be also called the best camera for beginners, because it is useful for those who want to enjoy beautiful shots without learning any nuances of photography with advanced equipment. This is a user-friendly camera with good automation, intuitive interface and comfortable grip. It has everything you need: high-quality CCD-matrix with a resolution of 20 megapixels, a large optical zoom lens, image stabilizer, Wi-Fi and NFC modules. You are able to buy a device with all these advantages for an affordable price.

canon powershot sx420 portrait sample

 Photo by Canon PowerShot sx420


10 Best Canon Cameras for Portrait

IMAGE NAME DETAILS  
canon eos r Canon EOS RBEST MIRRORLESS
  • 30.3 MP
  • CMOS
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canon eos 5dsr Canon EOS 5DS RFOR STUDIO
  • 50.6 MP
  • CMOS
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canon eos 5d mark iv Canon EOS 5D Mark IVBEST FULL FRAME
  • 30.4 MP
  • CMOS
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canon eos 6d mark ii Canon EOS 6D Mark IIOUR CHOICE
  • 26.2 MP
  • CMOS
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canon eos 7d mark ii Canon EOS 7D Mark IIBEST AUTOFOCUS CAMERA
  • 20.2 MP
  • CMOS
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canon eos rebel t7i Canon EOS Rebel T7iBEST BUDGET CAMERA
  • 24.2 MP
  • CMOS
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canon 80d Canon 80D
  • 24.2 MP
  • APS-C
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canon eos 1dx Canon EOS 1Dx
  • 18.1 MP
  • CMOS
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canon powershot g7 x mark ii Canon PowerShot G7 X Mark II
  • 20.1 MP
  • CMOS
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canon powershot sx420 Canon PowerShot SX420
  • 20 MP
  • CMOS
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How to Choose the Best Canon Camera for Portrait?

There are many several branches in portrait photography. So, the choice of an ideal mirrorless or DSLR for portraits depends on the specifics of the pictures you plan to take. For example, you need maximum detailization and the ability to print such photos in a large format for the beauty industry. You should remember that beauty portraits are most often used for promotional purposes. This means that the best camera for professional beauty photography should have the maximum number of megapixels. If we are talking about shooting an emotional portrait, the quality of the picture isn’t so important. The main thing is to quickly catch the moment, because the emotion lasts only for a few seconds. I will enumerate the characteristics that you really need to pay attention to when choosing the best camera for taking portraits.

1. The number of megapixels

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If you need the best camera for professional photography (fashion or magazine), draw your attention to the number of megapixels. The camera should be at least 30MP so that these pictures can be used further in large format printing, and their high-end image retouching can be done better because of the comfortable work with high-resolution pictures.

2. Choose a camera with RAW format capabilities

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The best camera for portraits and landscape must be able to shoot in RAW format if you want to process digital images.

3. Find a camera with a large viewfinder

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The electronic or optical viewfinder of the camera must be large enough. You should be able to see everything that gets into your shot before you press the shutter.

4. Manual configuration option

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Your best camera for photographing portraits should be manually adjusted. A portrait usually has a blurred background and a focus on the eyes. The automatic mode cannot do this but will try to make the photo with an acceptable color, completely forgetting about the artistic component.

5. The possibility to focus on the eyes

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You probably understand that the eyes are the main part of a portrait. The best cameras for portrait photography are able to independently find the eyes and focus on them, as well as follow them when it comes to photography in motion.

6. Availability of lenses you need

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With the appearance of the RF lens mount, you need to be aware that your favorite lens, such as the Canon EF 135mm f/2L USM, is not suitable for Canon EOS R, due to the lack of mounting. But specifically, for this case, the manufacturer has released an adapter that allows you to install EF series lenses on this camera.


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Hi there, I'm Ann Young - a photographer, photo retoucher and of course, journalist. Here on FixThePhoto blog you can find all of my reviews, photography and photo editing tips, pricing guides, and photography experiments.

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